GAMBIA is awaiting the arrival of the country’s new leader and an era of democracy, hours after the authoritarian ruler of 22 years flew into exile.
An adviser to Gambia’s new president, President Adama Barrow, says former leader Yahya Jammeh emptied the state coffers and shipped out luxury vehicles by plane before he left.
Mai Ahmad Fatty spoke to reporters on Sunday night in Senegal, where Barrow is still waiting to return home.
But even as Jammeh left Gambia he was given an extraordinary set of assurances from the international community.
As Barrow remained in neighbouring Senegal awaiting a triumphant return after a whirlwind political crisis sparked by his December election win, former leader Jammeh was guaranteed the right to come home.
A joint declaration issued shortly after Jammeh left by the United Nations, African Union and West African regional bloc said the bodies will work with Barrow’s government to make sure Jammeh, his family and his close associates are not the target of punishment.
The unpredictable Jammeh, known for startling declarations like his claim that bananas and herbal rubs could cure AIDS, flew off late on Saturday with a wave as supporters and soldiers wept. He is believed to have landed in Equatorial Guinea.
The country is not a state party to the International Criminal Court.
Jammeh’s dramatic about-face on his election loss to Barrow, at first conceding and then challenging the vote, appeared to be the final straw for the international community, which had been alarmed by his moves in recent years to declare an Islamic republic, leave the Commonwealth and leave the ICC.
Gambian President and dictator Yahya Jammeh, facing a combined military force composed of Senegalese army troops, the Nigerian air force, and troops from Mali, Ghana, and Togo, has agreed to relinquish the presidency of Gambia. On December 1, 2016, Jammeh was defeated for re-election in a surprise upset by his little-known rival Adama Barrow. Jammeh received only 45 percent of the vote.
During the election campaign Jammeh vowed in an interview with the BBC to «rule for one billion years». After initially conceding defeat to Barrow, Jammeh reneged on his promise to step down and announced he would remain as president.
The Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) decided that Jammeh had to go, a stance ironically supported by the United States, which had assisted Jammeh in overthrowing Gambia’s democratically-elected president, Sir Dauda K. Jawara, in 1994.
After Jammeh refused ECOWAS’s, the African Union’s, and the United Nations Security Council’s demands to leave office and permit Barrow to assume the presidency, ECOWAS mobilized its military forces. On January 19, 2017, Barrow was sworn in as president in the Gambian embassy in Dakar, the Senegalese capital. Hours later, Senegalese troops began to enter Gambia and Nigerian air force jets buzzed the Gambian capital of Banjul. The presidents of Mauritania and Guinea flew to Banjul to urge Jammeh to leave office peacefully. Jammeh’s fate was sealed when Major General Ousman Badjie, the commander of the Gambian armed forces, recognized Barrow as Gambia’s commander-in-chief.
The demand from the United States for Jammeh to relinquish power was a display of absolute hypocrisy since Washington had not only installed Jammeh into power but two successive U.S. presidents warmly welcomed the military ruler to the White House. Jammeh, who owns a $3.5 million mansion in Potomac, Maryland, was warmly greeted by President Barack Obama at the 2014 and 2015 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summits in Washington. President George W. Bush greeted Jammeh at the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Washington in 2003. With the protection of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, Jammeh’s Moroccan-born wife, Zineb Jammeh, ran up huge totals at the Washington area’s fashionable shopping malls. She also settled on Sam’s Club, a wholesale discount store, to buy massive amounts of household goods. Jammeh is a textbook case of CIA-sponsored kleptocracy on a grand scale.
Under Jammeh, Gambia continued to be a strategic ally of the United States. The kleptocratic Gambian leader permitted the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to maintain an emergency landing site for NASA’s space shuttle in the country and Gambia participated with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the post-9/11 rendition program.
Before being installed as Gambia’s dictator, Jammeh had received training from the Pentagon. Merely a lieutenant in the Gambian National Army. In 1993, Jammeh attended the notorious «School of the Americas» in Fort Benning, Georgia. The school has trained some of Latin America’s most notorious military dictators and death squad commanders. While in Fort Benning, Jammeh was made an honorary citizen of the state of Georgia. The following year, and before he launched his coup, Jammeh attended the Military Police Officers Basic Course (MPOBC) at Fort McClellan, Alabama. He was also made an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Alabama State Militia. Jammeh continued to collect American honorifics, including being made an admiral in the non-existent Navy of the State of Nebraska. The corny title is bestowed by the governor of Nebraska to prominent citizens, who have not only included African dictators like Jammeh and his fellow CIA-supported kleptocrat, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, but to the likes of George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Queen Elizabeth II.
It was during the administration of President Bill Clinton that the green light was given for Jammeh to be installed in a CIA-led coup in Gambia.
definitely a cia puppet like so many others..where will he pop up next with his billions tucked away safely?
so what are barrows connections then?
Barrow is a devout Muslim and says that his faith guides his life and politics. He practices polygyny and has two wives, Fatoumatta Bah and Sarjo Mballow.